Unassuming, calm and collected, Nick Weston is a man of intrigue. Director, owner, chef, hunter and forager of Hunter, Gather, Cook, Nick is a very busy man. With strong ideals and a proactive manner. A man of the land, who works best with his hands. A butcher, a builder, a fly tie-er. He is a man content to sit in the woods and watch, and wait.
Arriving in East Sussex, on the long drive south, we take a trip with Nick to one of the finest trout rivers in the south of England, the River Itchen, in the next county. Where Nick feels most at home is on the river. Fishing is how he would spend his perfect day. Fed by the river. The whole process of catching, preparing and eating is the complete experience to him. As a kid, he would be sent out into the wilds for the day; when he started coming back home regularly with animals he had caught, his mother decided it was time he learned to cook them himself alongside her.
Nick studied hunter-gatherer societies in the dawn of the Neolithic age at university, but after graduating found himself in the full swing of daily life in London. However, it came to a time where, despondent with a life in London, he wanted to try and see if it was possible to live as a hunter-gatherer in the modern day. And so he took himself back to the woods, built a treehouse, and tried to live off-grid, off the land, for 7 months. Fishing, foraging and hunting he created a self-sufficient life there – his girlfriend, now wife, Clare taking to visiting at weekends as opposed to spending full-time there.
We were lucky enough to spent time with Nick at his place in East Sussex. Nick’s ‘work’ treehouse in the woods, is a little more luxurious. With clay ovens and all manner of grills, knives, pans, and a team of friends and chef-helpers. Tonight it is just three of us under canopy around the fire-pit. We all sat engrossed in the flames in each other’s company.